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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

A Sad Reminder of the Importance of Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples in Sacramento

November 22, 2011

Alex and Tina had a great life together and a love for each other that was obvious even to strangers. They had been together for over 30 years, raising children and sharing a home. Alex had not been feeling well for a few days and a doctor’s appointment had been made, but Alex passed away before that appointment was due.

The house had been in Alex’s name and because her full name was Alexandra, the couple had never married. Alex intended to create a will and leave the house to Tina, but it felt to them that they had time and, what could happen anyway? Alex’s family knew her wishes.

Instead, Tina was left with no home and no way to purchase one. She expected to stay in the home she shared (and helped pay for) with Alex, but feelings over Alex’s sudden death had flared and there were not-so-subtle comments made that Tina should have seen to it that Alex got to the doctor sooner.

The face of American families has changed over the past few decades, but laws were written with the traditional family (man, woman, 2.5 kids) in mind. Rules allowing for a spouse’s elective share of the estate don’t apply in non-traditional relationships.

In that case, it is important for couples to have a will or trust and use contractual agreements that outline the rights and responsibilities of each partner.

This can be easily done and there is no time like the present. As a Sacramento estate planning attorney who serves non-traditional families and same-sex partners, I welcome your questions and hope that I can assist you when you create or revise your estate planning documents.

Call The Chubb Law Firm today at (916) 241-9661 to review your goals and discuss your options.

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I was absolutely without a clue as to how to begin or what I should do to establish an estate plan. I did know that I wanted someone I could trust, that was honest and I would have confidence in. I was referred to Heather by my friend who was being legally advised by Heather on another estate. She was very satisfied with her work and thought I might be happy with her service. At our consultation appointment, her presentation was very thorough. I had lots of questions, and she was easy to talk to and was able to guide me to just the kind of estate plan I needed. That was 10 years ago. Due to circumstances in my life, I have had to make changes to my plan, and I always go back to her for her legal services and guidance. I have recommended Heather before.
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